You look in the mirror. Tie, perfectly off centre and a dashing smile. You can feel the confidence in your chest, like a perfect sculpture waiting to be revealed. Take a moment; you earned it. You turn and face your office. Dark mahogany desk framed by a staggering arch top window overlooking the city. A bearskin rug - one of the last polar bears - lays sprawled across your floor. Old hardwood creaks under your feet as you circle the room. The world will now be yours. Be proud.
Deep breath. Check the time, perfect. Everyone will be waiting. Norma should be coming soon. She has the entrance planned for maximum effect. Turn your phone on loud. If any conversation gets too long or useless, you’ve got a plan. A slight nod to the bartender and pass your drink to your opposite hand. Within seconds your phone will ring and you’ll need to scurry away. Simple. Elegant. Just like the life you’ve built and the world you’ve changed. The world was in pieces. Pieces that you have picked up. Many have passed on but you’ve made sure everyone worth saving was saved. The world will forever be in your debt. You’re a hero, to those who matter.
You can tell Norma’s at your door now. She knocks lightly and enters before you’ve responded.
Her voice is like silk up your spine. Wow, she looks amazing tonight, doesn’t she? Her curls flow in smooth twirls. A shine drapes down her coffee powdered hair. The dress, oh that dress has you forgetting why you’re here. The perfect blend of power and appeal. You love her, she loves you. You’ve both taken turns embarrassing yourselves silently attempting to court one another. Now isn’t the time for that.
One last breath and you follow Norma out of your office. You lightly pull your door closed being careful to have your thumb on the lock scanner so it secures behind you.
Strutting down the hallway you’ve made a conscious decision to avert your eyes from Norma’s hips and reflect. That moment replays in your mind. You had known from the moment you had hit the return key that you had done it. Homo Sapiens were now obsolete and peace could be restored. Simple. Elegant. A solution for all. An evolution for few.
A few thousand characters in a blank text box and a small syringe is all you needed. You were your own test subject, no one else deserved to be! People said don’t do it, people said stop doing it, now they beg at your feet for it. Feel that? It’s victory.
You’ve arrived in front of double doors. Black with sleek silver handles awaits your push. What’s beyond, awaits your presence. You take a glance at Norma her green eyes are sparkling. She’s attempting to hide her pride for you. Neither of you speaks, but she nods toward the door and you know. It’s time.
You grab the handles and push - hard enough to show strength without brash abandon - and then you’re there. 5000 scrupulously selected people stand before you. 200-foot windows from floor to ceiling on three sides. Gold plated trays are slowly circling the room, hovering with glasses of radiant bubbles. Small lamp posts stand in a scattered organization around the room creating alluring shadows in all the right places. Elegant.
The oxygen escapes into the lungs of the attendees. For a split second, everything is still. A silent admiration glows around you. You’re real. Many thought you could only be fantasy. But there you stand. Flesh, blood, and evolved. You’re above them all, and they know it.
The split-second passes and thunderous applause, shrieks, and moans rain down upon you. You begin to move to the opposite side of the room, where a microphone stands. People reach out to touch you; to feel your power. You’re simply gracious. You always have been.
Grabbing the microphone you stare out at their faces. Trying to guess what they are thinking. Now you're speaking. The room is silent except for your voice.
They’re entranced by your science. Your discovery. Your creation. You. None of them understand what it is or how it works but they understand that they need it. They need you; the evolution.
Your closing line is gorgeous, “Tonight is not about what was or what will be. Tonight is about now because now we are all saved.” You raise your glass as the room erupts for a second time. Norma has arrived on your arm, scurrying you out the side door into a second hallway.
You need to let your adrenaline rest before the more important part of the night. Your head is pounding with excitement. Norma is trying to fill you in on the next plan but your blood pumping is drowning her out. Your hands meet your knees as you lean against the white wall to your left. She stops, holds both your arms and looks deep into your eyes. The pumping slows and you settle.
Norma holds your arms strong, “You’re the same you know.” she says with a smirk.
All you can think to say is, “Just a few upgrades.” You both chuckle and at the moment, you can’t help but feel whole.
A small back room is where she leads you. It’s lit comfortably. Sharp leather sofas and the sweet smell of whiskey and fire fill the room.
This time, Norma enters first. It’s a much more tame entrance, but this crowd will respond to the simplicity of power more elegantly. Soft claps and adoring nods meet your eyes. 40 of the once most powerful people stand before you. Now it’s time for small talk and subtle panhandling. It’s a bit of a drag but necessary for the near future. Try and enjoy it.
President Martinez takes a few steps toward you and engages in conversation. The typical congratulations and humble brush offs are exchanged. You can’t help but be reminded about how closely his midnight hair matches his eyes. His teeth are too white for his chestnut complexion. If he let them yellow shade it would be more comforting for everyone. Martinez has always been kind but in a fashion that reminds you that you're beneath him. Not tonight. Tonight feels different. His eyes aren’t sharp. His voice is soft. Is that praise he just offered? Why, yes it was. Feel that victory in your veins. You thank him graciously as common social encounters impose, but you can’t help but notice his wife’s eyes tracing your lips at every word. Her piercing blue eyes are the kind that draws you in, just to adore the depth. Her stare, her need for you, is intoxicating.
Did Martinez notice? He has just possed a potentially threatening question. You were so encapsulated by his wife’s eyes that you politely asked him to repeat himself. Just as you thought, a threatening question. His coal-black eyes are on fire again. His intensity has returned. You find yourself annoyed. Why should you have to answer such a question? You begin to attempt your bartender trick when Norma is at your side gently pulling you away and apologizing for dragging you off. Wow, Norma’s good.
“What did he say? You went from smiling to scowling in an instant.” She sounds worried.
In a low voice, hidden by a crowd-pleasing smile you say, “He asked a compelling question.”
Norma leads you to the edge of the room and you turn to face each other. You're both attempting to sink into the wall for a moment of privacy.
Her mouth is in an O shape and her brow is lowered. Questioning you to continue. The shadows of the flames are dancing on her soft brown complexion.
“He asked…” you begin hesitantly, “He asked if I thought I had saved humankind or destroyed it.”
Norma’s eyes began blinking rapidly and her lips pinched to the centre as she shook her head in disbelief, “What? Is he - well. What did you say?”
You glance up and scan the room. People smiling, clinking glasses, and feeling generally stress-free. You continue gazing out on their faces as you whisper, “I guess the only answer is yes.”